Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Religious Life

Religious Life

With a mosque in its center and a church in its off-campus residences and good relations with the Jewish community in Fes, the University preserves the right of its diverse community members to practice their faith in an environment of respect, peace and understanding. Discrimination or misconduct committed on the grounds of religion are prohibited and punishable. Students also have many opportunities to take part in interfaith activities hosted by the university or organized by student groups like the Interfaith Alliance.



Dr. Sliman Khanjari, Imam at the mosque

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Tel:  0535-86-2180  

Imam Dr. Sliman Khanjari manages the mosque and leads daily prayers. The Imam also holds Friday, also gives a weekly lecture at the mosque and other rituals on special religious occasions, notably during the sacred month of Ramadan. Additionally, he offers advice on matters of religious nature.

The mosque also provides an opportunity for those interested in the conservation and improve the Koran
Alongside Rev. Karen Smith, the University Chaplain (See Christian services below), the Imam takes part in major religious gatherings and university ceremonies, wherein he is summoned to chant verses of the Koran, as the tradition goes.

Parties from both religions have also been involved in faith dialogue conferences taking place at the University within the framework of expanding knowledge and understanding, as well as developing tolerance and peace in believers from both sides, and those who may not relate to either religion.

On a monthly basis, the Imam provides the AUI community with an updated version of prayer times that you can download by clicking on the PDF link cited here.

Christian Services

Rev. Karen Smith, Chaplain at the church

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Tel:  0661-20-9443      

The Al Akhawayn University Christian Community gathers frequently for worship and other special activities.  The Christian Community worships on Sunday evenings at 6:00 in the church apartment, located in building 9, apt. 6, of the faculty residences of the annex. This is an ecumenical gathering (Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox), blending elements from many different Christian traditions. 

Rev. Karen Thomas Smith [M.Div., Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; M.A. St. John's University School of Theology, Collegeville, Minnesota] leads the worship service.  In addition, guest clergy, notably the Franciscans from Meknes, are occasionally invited to enrich the worshiping life of the community and to accommodate needs and preferences of community members.

Along with regular worship services, the Christian community organizes other ongoing and special activities.  Two regular activities are:
1)  Choir: The Christian Community Choir practices and sings weekly in worship, presenting a variety of music from African-American spirituals to Gregorian chant.  Anyone interested in singing in the choir should contact Rev. Karen Thomas Smith at 2799 (during office hours posted each semester) or by cell phone (06 61 20 94 43) or by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  The choir currently practices at 5:15 on Sundays with pickup from campus upon request.

2)  Pizza Supper and Adult Bible Study:  The community gathers for adult Bible study (and pizza) midweek (either Wednesday or Thursday evenings, depending on schedules each semester) at 6:40 at Karen and Kevin Smith's house.  Transportation is provided from the bus shelter at 6:30. 

Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to come to any worship event or activity the church sponsors. 

Jewish Students

Jewish students are always welcome to join the Jewish community in Fes for prayer and celebration of holy days. The campus chaplain (Rev. Smith) can provide Jewish students with contact information for the rabbi.